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Hampton woman tied to fatal crash pleads guilty to earlier drug case
Cindy Sheppard, 48, of Hampton looks at her attorney, Neil Reardon, as he speaks during her plea and sentencing hearing Monday in Rockingham County Superior Court. JAMES A. KIMBLE
BRENTWOOD – A woman accused of giving a painkiller to a 19-year-old driver who struck and killed two bicyclists along Route 1A in Hampton pleaded guilty to dealing drugs, including crack cocaine and heroin, months before the deadly crash.
Cindy Sheppard, 48, of Hampton, was sentenced to three to six years in state prison Monday morning after a plea deal with county prosecutors on six felony counts of possession of a controlled drug with intent to sell. She also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.
Sheppard will be eligible for a one-year suspension from the minimum prison sentence if she completes a residential drug treatment program, according to prosecutors.
She still faces more potential prison time for allegedly giving fentanyl to Darriean Hess of Seabrook and allowing her get back behind the wheel hours after Hampton police stopped the 19-year-old on the same road for speeding and driving without a license.
In that case, Sheppard faces three counts of possession of a controlled drug while on release, and single counts of dispensing a controlled drug while on release and allowing an improper person to operate a motor vehicle.
Hess was indicted on charges of manslaughter, negligent homicide and second-degree assault for allegedly veering a 2002 Honda into a group of cyclists, killing two of them on Sept. 21.
Pamela Wells, 60, and Elise Bouchard, 52, both of Massachusetts, died from their injuries. Two other cyclists, Uwe Uhmeyer, 60, and Margo Heigh, 54, also of Massachusetts, were also injured.
Judge Marguerite Wageling said Monday that Sheppard’s plea deal will have no bearing on charges in the second case or any future charges that could be filed against her.
Sheppard entered her guilty plea in Rockingham County Superior Court just days after a grand jury indicted her on more drug charges related to the fatal crash.
Sheppard, who was known to some of her associates as “Cinderella,” also recently lost a bid to have all evidence thrown out in her case, arguing that Hampton police did not have enough evidence to raid her apartment in June.
Prosecutors say that Sheppard was dealing quantities of heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine, oxycodone, diazepam and methylone from her apartment prior to her arrest.
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